§ Mr. Nelson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about his powers of intervention in relation to shipping casualties which may give rise to the threat of pollution by dangerous or harmful substances other than oil.
§ Mr. Tebbit
I hope that an Order in Council under section 20 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1979 will be made and laid before the House before the Summer Adjournment to provide the Secretary of State with the same powers of intervention after a shipping casualty where there is a threat of pollution by dangerous or harmful substances other than oil as he now possesses under the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 and the Oil in Navigable Waters (Shipping Casualties) Order 1971 where the threat is of oil pollution. The Order in Council, which is subject to the annulment procedure, is planned to come into operation during the summer.
The order will give effect to the "Protocol relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Marine Pollution Substances other than Oil, 1973"—Cmnd. 6038.